Favorites from K,1,ECC, CTGGuest wrote:I am sooooo interested in MFW but then there are a few other curriculums that tempt me also. I would love to hear from you-the users of MFW what you like most about MFW. What keeps you with it. I do not want to continue switching curriculums. I want to find something and stick with it.
I guess my main concerns are ease of use, it being meaty enough and my lack of being crafty! So, if you don't mind I would really appreciate you sharing with me what you love about MFW!! Thank you so much
Let's see, the two issues you brought up...
Is it meaty? At first glance, the K and 1 programs might appear to be a little slow, but really they get the job done in less time than fancier programs with lots of flash cards, videos, tapes, manipulatives, etc. You'll have time to pursue your child's interests at this age be it ballet, dinosaurs, cooking, or whatever.
For the older years, all I can say is yes it's meaty! It's also fun. Meaty and fun are not mutually exclusive.
I'm not crafty either. I've found that the projects, recipes, and crafts in the MFW books are very doable and most use normal stuff. With ECC, where you study different countries, often a choice of crafts is presented, so pick what you are comfortable with. And, the crafts are memorable. It's been two years since we did the Japanese fish prints (we did them on white tee shirts) and the kids still wear these shirts quite regularly! Good thing I bought the shirts big!
Here's what I like, in no particular order...
1. Emphasis on Bible and character. Lots of opportunities to discuss God's hand in history, etc. Focus on cultures that don't (generally) know God as well as those that are much poorer than we are has been a big impact on my family.
2. Great balance of "work" and hands-on stuff. I'm personally turned off by traditional textbook programs and overwhelmed by many unit studies that are one project after the other.
3. Right amount of work for kids to do. Not too much, not too little.
4. The projects incorporated in the program are fun, not too involved.
5. Book basket works!
6. All four of the programs that we've used so far (K,1,ECC, CTG) have been really age-appropriate. Things aren't babyish nor are elementary aged kids asked to do things way over their heads. Some curricula seem so ... basic or something. And, others seem to ask unreasonable things of young kids (maybe learning how to conjugate Latin verbs) and I wonder if this is for the pride of the parents so that they can say what Junior is doing in school when the in-laws ask...
7. Recommended books haven't disappointed me. Most books are 100% fine and the rare books that have evolutionary, "witch" or "fairy" content are pointed out so families can avoid those passages or be ready to discuss them. It's a nice balance of Christian and secular books. We want the kids to know the world that they live in (which is secular) but be grounded in their faith.
8. Availability of the Hazells. I've spoken with David on the phone a few times. If you've got a question, usually the moms on the boards can answer you but if not, the Hazells, who are farther down this homeschooling path than we are, can help out.
9. Little prep time for mom! Yippee. It's all figured out and presented in a nice grid (see home page for samples). All you need to do is read a few comments (usually a paragraph or two) before the day starts. And, there's a list of needed stuff for science or activities actually written at the top of the week's comments. So, you can turn to next week's page and see that you need vinegar and baking sode and you pick those up the next time you go to the store...
10. Won't break the bank. The Hazells considered that most of us are one-income families that aren't rich. The books that make up the packages are usually low cost paperbacks that pack a lot of punch. When I saw the homemade geography game in ECC I was sold... Another example is Spelling Power. While it's an expensive book, you use it year after year with all your kids! That's much cheaper than purchasing $15 workbooks (and perhaps matching teacher manuals) for four kids for six years.
11. Less is more when it comes to teaching. For example, the language lesson books end up being $7 a year (assuming you use them with one kid and then throw them away -- use them with multiple kids and sell them when you are done and you're looking at a dollar or two a year for that part of your curriculum). Similarly, the kindergarten program does a great job of teaching basic phonics without a lot of bells and whistles. And, it's quicker to teach per day!
12. A light day each week for the upper level schedules. This allows you to stay on track even if you are part of a weekly co-op, etc. Not a problem!
13. Profits from MFW sales go towards Bible translation work. That's neat.
14. Sane language arts program. Many of my homeschooling buddies are pulling out their hair when their second grader forgets what a conjunction or an adverb is. With MFW, kids are introduced to these concepts throughout elementary school and then, when they are developmentally ready (middle school), are hit with a grammar course.
15. It's new enough that there aren't dozens of families in our area doing the same thing at the same time. This means I can get some good octopus, or China, or Nile River books from the library when I need.
16. There are not too many required books (those are the ones you purchase and they are the ones in the "grids" of the TMs). But there are lots of recommended books. These are the ones you get from the library and it's no big deal if the library doesn't have them. You don't have to buy tons of books.
There are a lot of good programs out there and many people are very happy with them... But, MFW has really fit with our family. We're learning, having fun, and not burning out with it.
Of course, I trust you are posting to the other curricula's boards too asking them the same thing.